Social Theory

Axel Honneth on Recognition

Philosophy & Social Criticism has published (OnlineFirst) an interview with Axel Honneth, conducted by Goncalo Marcelo in Lisbon on 9 July 2010. Honneth talks about his theory of recognition, critical theory, reification, and his debate with Peter Sloterdijk. Excerpt: Honneth: I would find it misleading to say that my theory is an ethics of recognition. 

New Book: Strukturwandel der Anerkennung

Strukturwandel der Anerkennung: Paradoxien sozialer Integration in der Gegenwart Edited by Axel Honneth, Ophelia Lindemann, and Stephan Voswinke. Published by Campus Verlag, Reihe: Frankfurter Beiträge zur Soziologie und Sozialphilosophie,  January 2013. Book Description: Anerkennung ist ein Schlüsselbegriff unserer Zeit geworden. Gesellschaftliche Konflikte werden von den Beteiligten als Kämpfe um Anerkennung beschrieben.

Veit Bader’s Critique of Post-secularism

The current issue of Erasmus law Review has published articles on religion and secularism, originated in a conference on ‘Religion in the 21st Century’ at the Erasmus School of Law, in September 2011. Veit Bader’s interesting article in this issue is titled Post-Secularism or Liberal-Democratic Constitutionalism?

Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights

Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights Edited by Ryan Goodman, Derek Jinks and Andrew K. Woods. Published by Oxford University Press. Oct 2012. Description: In Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights, editors Ryan Goodman, Derek Jinks, and Andrew K. 

Habermas Revisits ‘Linguistification of the Sacred’

In a much discussed chapter of the second volume of Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (1981), Jürgen Habermas presented a theory of linguistic transformation of the binding authority of the sacred. His account there was generally considered as a radical formulation of secularization theory. 

Jürgen Habermas on Religion in the Liberal State

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) has published a printed version of Jürgen Habermas’s lecture at Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation in Munich on July 19, 2012: Wie viel Religion verträgt der liberale Staat?

Glaube als Option

German social theorist Hans Joas has published a new book: Glaube als Option: Zukunftsmöglichkeiten des Christentums Verlag Herder – June 5, 2012 Hans Joas is Permanent Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies and Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. 

Constitutional Fragments

Suhrkamp releases this week the German edition of Gunther Teubner’s book, Verfassungsfragmente: Gesellschaftlicher Konstitutionalismus in der Globalisierung. Gunther Teubner is Professor of Private Law and Legal Sociology at Göthe University Frankfurt and Principal Investigator at Excellence Cluster “The Formation of Normative Orders”. See Teubner’s online papers here. 

Norris and Inglehart on Muslim Integration into Western Cultures

Pippa Norris (Harvard) and Ronald Inglehart (Michigan) have a new joint empirical paper, just published online in the new issue of Political Studies (Volume 60, Issue 2, June 2012): Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations Abstract: To what extent do migrants carry their culture with them, and to what extent do they




The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran announces the publication of Sketches of Iran: A Glimpse from the Front Lines of Human Rights, available now at In this unprecedented collection of drawings, editorial cartoons, and portraits of human rights defenders, internationally acclaimed Iranian artists depict the pain and the resiliency of those in Iran who refuse to relinquish their rights, despite the Iranian government’s attempts to silence them.


After the “Arab springs” and other protest movements that prompted many rises and falls in last year’s index, the 2013 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index marks a return to a more usual configuration.


  • Iran: Prosecute Officials in Detained Blogger’s Death | Human Rights Watch →Iran’s judiciary should conclude a speedy, independent, and transparent criminal investigation followed by prosecution of those believed responsible for the death of the blogger Sattar Behesht. Beheshti died in the custody of Tehran’s cyber police in November 2012. Iranian officials should stop harassing his family and hampering their efforts to seek justice and ensure that those responsible for the blogger’s death are held to account. Although Beheshti died almost four months ago, there is no indication that the judiciary has concluded the criminal investigation into the officers accused of responsibility for his death, despite promises by officials that the case would be sent to the courts for prosecution before mid-February.
  • New report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran →”The Special Rapporteur assesses in this report that there continues to be widespread systemic and systematic violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Reports communicated by nongovernmental organisations, human rights defenders, and individuals concerning violations of their human rights or the rights of others continue to present a situation in which civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are undermined and violated in law and practice. Moreover, a lack of Government investigation and redress generally fosters a culture of impunity, further weakening the impact of the human rights instruments Iran has ratified.”
  • Resetdoc Videos: Andrew Arato on ‘The Arab Spring and Democratic Constituent Power’ →In order to create a new democratic political order the initial transformation process needs even more participation and a democratic constituent power, argues political scientist Andrew Arato at Reset-Dialogues’ Istanbul Seminars. Democracy making is a consensual process with an active input from civil society groups, and not just from elites. In Egypt this constituent democratic form never really emerged yet, also because the Brotherhood allowed the military to impose its own rules, asking for quick elections in return.
  • Wege zu einem authentischen Säkularismus, von Nader Hashemi – →”Zwei Jahre nach Beginn des Arabischen Frühlings bestätigt eine Reihe politischer Entwicklungen eine Behauptung aus meinem Buch “Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy” (2012). Darin argumentierte ich, dass in muslimischen Gesellschaften der Weg zur Demokratie, welche Biegungen und Wendungen er auch nevhmen wird, “nicht umhin kann, die Tore der religiösen Politik zu durchqueren”.”
  • Call for Iran to end house arrest of opposition leaders | →Six leading human rights organisations have called on Iran to end the “arbitrary” house arrest of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been cut off from the outside world for nearly two years without being put on trial.
  • Photo Essays: 50 Years of Women’s Right to Vote in Iran – →In 1963 – 50 years ago, women in Iran got the right to vote. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi allowed women to vote as one part of a broader reform program to modernize the country. Women’s voting rights in particular were granted in late January by way of a national referendum. Initially, the majority of Iranians stood behind the reform agenda known as the White Revolution. id-1963 brought heavy opposition to implementing the reform, and Iran’s spiritual elites were bitterly against the White Revolution. It was this context that propelled the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini, who would go on to lead his own revolution.